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European Participatory Democracy: Building on what exists while pushin for reforms

EU Democracy Rally's Multiplier Event

When? Wednesday 7 June (a day before ECI day at the Economic and Social Committee)

Where? Brussels, at the Maison des associations internationales (Rue Washington 40, 1050 Ixelles) & online

About? A multiplier event for European citizens to take action and promote a European participatory democracy

With? 50 participants – Partners of EUDR, European civil society activists, young people and EU experts


Welcoming and presentation of the day
Welcoming of the participants; brief round of presentations of the activities and of the European Democracy Rally, its events and resources.

  • Speaker: Philippe Ternes, EUDR coordinator

Shaping tomorrow’s participatory democracy at the EU level

  • Speakers: Alberto Alemanno, Founder of The Good Lobby and Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law at HEC Paris; Omri Preiss,        Co-founder and managing director of Alliance4Europe; TBC

The first part of the session will be devoted to speakers’ presentations on the promotion of European and local participatory democracy. The aim is to brainstorm on ideas to put forward in the campaign for the 2024 European elections. The current tools available, such as citizens' assemblies, will be explained, but also the possibility of expanding these tools and proposing new ideas such as the creation of an incubator for transnational citizen movements raised in the EUDR that could be transformed into practical proposals. A question and answer brainstorming will help frame questions and proposals to be discussed in small groups in the next session

Coffee break

Round table discussions

  • Speakers: Representative of The Good Lobby; Omri Preiss, Co-founder and Managing Director of Alliance4Europe; TBC

There will be 3 round tables with one of the speakers at each to frame recommendations. Every half hour, participants will be encouraged to change tables and engage with a different speaker. Questions should include:

  • How to make citizens more aware and motivated to make better use of the existing instruments for a participatory democracy?
  • What reforms are necessary?
  • What new instruments are needed to give citizens a real say in European policy making?

Lunch (provided by EUDR)

How to build a movement

  • Speakers: Laura Burtan, Researcher at Funky Citizens

When speaking about participatory democracy tools, for instance ECIs, petitions but also campaigning for European elections, a crucial aspect for their success is the building of a strong, organised and stable network that not only supports one's proposal but is also able to disseminate it to the general public. The session will therefore be dedicated to the Social Media Campaigning strategy and how to build a strong, united and organised movement to support one's proposals. Is an incubator for European citizen action part of the answer?

Coffee break

SESSION 4 – Make the ECI instrument more effective

  • Speakers: Tony Venables, ECIT Founder; Daniela Vancic, European Program Manager at Democracy International; Virginia Fiume, Co-President of EUMANS

After an introduction from the speakers, the participants will divide in three round tables:

  1. Creating your ECI: The emphasis will be on how to get started and submit the ECI and then what is needed to successfully launch and collect signatures taking as a real example a new ECI “Making European citizens”
  2. Creating your coalition: The scope for a coalition of ECI organisers in the run-up to the European elections. This idea should be discussed in preparation for the ECI days on 7 June which makes a link with the 2024
  3. ECI reform: The failure rate of ECIs is far too high and citizens are not aware of this instrument. Sustaining and funding the campaign is also a challenge especially if the support of a dedicated network is lacking. How to make this a genuine citizen instrument – not just one for well-organised interests? ECIT will submit reform proposals for discussion

Coffee break

SESSION 5 – Presentations
Presentations from the Round Tables in the morning and afternoon.

CLOSING SESSION – Wrapping up and closure of the event
Feedback from participants about the day and suggestions for improvement and follow-up.


7 Jun 2023 @ 09:30 am

7 Jun 2023 @ 06:00 pm

Duration: 8 hours, 30 minutes


Maison des Associations Internationales

40 Rue Washington

1050 Ixelles




Organised by

ECIT foundation

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